Visiting Liard Hot Springs in British Columbia, Canada
Visiting Liard Hot Springs in British Columbia, Canada was originally published in October 2022
Toward the end of last month (September 2022) I started the journey down from the frozen north, making the move from Alaska to Colorado, so naturally, a road trip down the Alcan (Alaska Highway) was in order. I had driven the Alcan in the past (2006 to be exact) and this time had Liard Hot Springs listed on my (poorly-planned and impromptu) road trip.
Liard Hot Springs is Canada’s largest natural hot spring (second largest hot spring in the country) and is a perfect stop off for road trippers or weekend excursion for those in Yukon or BC. The park was established in 1957. Surrounded by Boreal forest, Liard Hot Spring feels, dare I say it- almost tropical. Because of this, Liard is nicknamed the “Tropical Valley”.
Where is Liard Hot Springs?
Liard Hot Springs is located along the Alaska Highway at Mile 496 (Kilometer 765) and sits within the Liard Hot Springs Provincial Park in northern British Columbia. Located between Watson Lake and Fort Nelson and not too far north of the gorgeous Muncho Lake Provincial Park it’s a natural stopping point along the journey.
Visiting Liard Hot Springs
Cost to soak in Liard Hot Springs
From 1 to October 31, there is a day-use fee for Liard Hot Springs costing $5 CAD for adults, $3 CAD for children, or $10 CAD for an entire family.
If you stay at the Liard River Hot Springs Campground for a night there is no day-use entry free.
For those that live nearby, there are annual passes that cost $10 CAD for adults and $20 CAD for families.
Note that fees are payable in cash only at the park. There is a small guardhouse upon entry to the parking lot area where you will pay which also functions as a visitor center.
Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park is open year-round.
Walking Access to Liard Hot Springs
From the day-use parking area at Liard, you’ll find a gate that leads out to the scenic 5-10 minute walk along a boardwalk to the Alpha Hot Spring. The boardwalk is roughly 700 meters in length leading you to the Liard Hot Spring facilities. The boardwalk leads you through a warm water swamp in Boreal forest. Keep your eyes peeled here for wildlife as it’s not uncommon to spot moose, birds, bears, and bison along here.
Liard Hot Spring Facilities
At the entrance to the Alpha Pool, you will find changing rooms for men that lead out onto a nice deck that overlooks the hot spring with benches and cubbies to store your belongings in. To the right of the hot spring, a short boardwalk leads up to a building housing bathrooms.
Back at the day-use parking lot, you will find a playground, picnic tables, and outhouses.
Water Temperatures at Liard Hot Springs
Temperatures in the main Alpha Pool at Liard Hot Springs range from 42°C (108 °F) to 52°C (126 °F). As you move around in the pool you’ll feel streams of cooler water flowing through, as well as flows of really hot water.
Rules for Entering Liard Hot Springs Alpha Pool
- Swimwear is mandatory
- Alcohol is not allowed
- You must stay on the boardwalks when accessing the hot springs
- Do not disturb wildlife or plants.
- Pets are not allowed in the hot springs area (they are welcome in the campground on a leash)
Camping at Liard Hot Springs
Liard Hot Springs hosts a campground with 53 sites. The campground features full services between May 1 and September 30 and costs $26 CAD per night per camping party and includes hot spring access. If visiting outside this time is limited the nightly rate is $16 CAD per night and limited services are available but the hot springs are open year-round.
Campfires are permitted within the burn barrels provided and firewood is also provided by the park.
Note that there is no mobile coverage here at Liard Hot Springs and no wifi, electricity, showers, or RV hookups at the campground.
Have any questions about visiting Liard Hot Springs?
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